Do CODAs Talk to Themselves more Often?*

*This isn’t  peer-reviewed blogging, just an idea that’s occurred to me. 


Ever since I can remember myself, I talk to myself and think outloud. Well, actually, the latter is more fit than the former, since most of my “conversations” are merely the vocal manifestations of thoughts, being that they’re either garbled, incoherent, and, especially when I’m thinking hard – made of bits and pieces of information that’s being processed internally.


There are 2 possible explanations I can think of for this:

A.I’m a weirdo, and this would be concordant with all kinds of other weird shit I do, like, oh, I don’t know, teach myself Japanese and spend hours every day reading blog comments or (and this is the cooler explanation)

B.Everyone has somewhat of a disposition to talk to themselves/think loudly. It is possible that thinking out loud is restricted by the social acceptance of this practice (since it can be associated with mental illness or simply with avid nervousness).

I have 3 infant cousins (all about 3 years old, they’re triplets!) – and they seem to jabber to themselves all the time. Although it’s possible they do that to “train their vocal chords” or simply because they enjoy yelling/hooting as play or because they want attention – sometimes I can distinctly hear them thinking out loud. I bet that at this early age, they’re rather impervious to the fact that thinking out loud should be embarrassing to them around other people…


Only, as a child of deaf adults, I never had that at home. I talk to myself out loud only at home or when I’m with my dad in the same car/room (and only if we’re alone/with other deaf people). It’s like his presence automatically OK’s it for me to think out loud, and I don’t consider him “around audio-wise”. 

Now that my dad’s girlfriend is at our house all the time, her being hard-of-hearing and not deaf, I keep feeling like maybe I’m “thinking out loud” too loudly. There’s also the dread that she might think it’s weird.

I don’t think I can even begin to explain to her that I’m not nuts.

Well, at least, that’s not what makes me nuts.


4 Responses to “Do CODAs Talk to Themselves more Often?*”

  1. Jeff Says:

    I think you’re explanation (B) is about right. Even if talking out loud isn’t associated with mental illness, there’s all sorts of social reasons it’s inpracticle around hearing people. One is that hearing isn’t under our control– so others are “forced” to hear us, when we speak, so it’s a bit annoying if we’re trying to focus on other things. The other is that it can be annoying to hear someone speak when they are not speaking to you. Niether of these were relevant to your environment, though, so it seems reasonable that you wouldn’t have stopped.

    As I was working on my teaching degree, we discussed a few things relevant and related to all this.
    One is that when infants enter the babbling stage, they make every sound possible: Affrican-sounding clicks (often represented in print by exclamation marks) for example, back-of-the throat noises I associate with Hebrew, etc. As infants get older, but before they start actually using words, all the sounds that aren’t used in a language extinguish themselves: babies in the later stages of babble only babble with the sounds that actually occur in their own language.

    The slightly more relevant thing I was wondering about:
    the development of reading is dependent on a whole bunch of inter-linked systems. Growth in one area reinforces growth in the others. Some of these systems are partially aural/oral. I’ve seen this play out with my own daughter: she has a speech issue and a resulting spelling issues. The words she mispronounces are also the ones she mispells.
    Theoretically, people who are deaf ought to have challenges in learning to read, even if there weren’t actually issues in communicating with reading instructors based on the fact that they don’t have the oral systems available to reinforce the others.
    But furthermore, a person who speaks to himself more than average, ought to have a bit of an advantage.
    A small piece of the evidential confirmation for the various systems is rooted in the fact that people who say the word out loud that they are studying learn it better than those who don’t, and furthermore, kids who talk more at young ages tend to read and spell better. The idea is that forming the words with the lips and hearing them with the ears reinforces the synaptic pathways connected to these words.
    Bottom line: Talking to one self, a bunch, should improve spelling and reading.

  2. Freidenker Says:

    I get in touch with a dozen or so new words every day (since I’m an obsessive reader and an English-Hebrew translator) – so every time I pick a new word, I use babylon-pro to find out how its pronounced and repeat it out loud. Maybe, according to what you wrote, it helps me remember the words better.

    I don’t know why – it’s not like I have anyone to *talk* to in English (I do a LOT of reading and writing, but no talking) – but it’s terribly important for me to know how to SAY those words and not just understand them.

  3. uzza Says:

    I talk to the cats, the dogs, the baby all the time. Never ever to myself, though, as that would be weird, LOL. It’s nearly always in my L1, English. Do you ever self-talk in ISL?

    There’s a theory that words are stored as patterns of muscle activity, like a kata. Your cousins are getting the moves down, we are trying out different combinations to see how they work.

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